Life with kids is a never-ending series of surprises and challenges. Chief among them is a child’s energy level, and they don’t have an “off” switch.
So, when are your kid’s high-energy antics normal, and when might they be a sign of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)? In general, kids and adults with ADHD are more active than their peers, have trouble paying attention, and can’t control their impulses.
About six million children in the United States have been diagnosed with ADHD. Most kids are diagnosed between the ages of 12-17. However, even 3-5-year-olds may have ADHD. The sooner you identify ADHD, the more successful interventions are.
Boys are more likely to be diagnosed with and treated for ADHD. However, many girls have it, too, especially its nonhyperactive, inattentive variety.
Our Enrich Family Practice nurse practitioners in Odessa, Texas, provide newborn to adolescent care, including annual well-child visits. If you’re worried about your child’s behavior and wonder if they’re struggling with ADHD, let us know. We test for and diagnose ADHD.
Does your child struggle with ADHD? Following are five signs that they might.
1. They can’t get anything done
Even if your child doesn’t seem particularly hyperactive, they may still have ADHD. One form of ADHD is primarily inattentive. Girls, particularly, may have an inattentive form of ADHD. Symptoms of inattention include:
- Excessive daydreaming
- Doesn’t listen when spoken to
- Gets bored easily
- Doesn’t complete homework without help
- Avoids chores or other tasks
- Loses things often
- Is easily distracted
- Takes a long time to complete tasks
Losing items necessary to complete tasks, such as homework, is common in inattentive ADHD.
2. They can’t wind down
Even kids without ADHD have a lot of energy, but kids with ADHD are constantly active and can’t seem to switch off the energy and be calm except when asleep. Signs that your kid may have the hyperactive form of ADHD include:
- Can’t sit through a meal or a class
- Acts like they’re driven by a motor
- Unable or unwilling to engage in quiet activities
- Fidgets, taps, or squirms
- Rush through tasks
- Make lots of mistakes
Younger kids may run and jump around a lot in inappropriate situations. Older kids and adolescents may feel or act restless.
3. They’re impulsive
When kids have the impulsive form of ADHD, they don’t modify their behaviors based on their social situation. Signs that they’re struggling to control their impulses include:
- Talks excessively
- Interrupts others
- Impatience when taking turns
- Blurts out answers before a question is asked
- Don’t ask permission before doing something
- Overreact to situations
- Take things that aren’t theirs
Many children have a combination of types.
4. They’ve had trouble for a while
ADHD doesn’t just appear overnight. If your child has ADHD, you’ve probably noticed symptoms that indicate inattentiveness, hyperactivity, or impulsiveness for several years.
You may also notice that your child’s behaviors are at a higher level than other kids.
Although all kids are sometimes inattentive, impulsive, or hyper, with ADHD, those behaviors are the default mode. Most importantly, they don’t seem to modify or change as they age.
5. Their behaviors affect friendships or school performance
The strongest sign that your child struggles with ADHD is that their behaviors negatively affect their performance at school or prevent them from forming and keeping friendships. If your child’s teacher has told you that your child is disruptive in class, or if it seems nearly impossible to get them to finish their homework, they may have ADHD.
However, if your child seems like they have ADHD at home but does well in school, they may struggle with another issue. That’s why getting a diagnosis is the first step toward helping your child obtain the support they need.
Nobody can diagnose ADHD by observing their child or reading a blog alone. A diagnosis of ADHD requires in-depth testing and evaluation. The criteria for ADHD vary by age, too.
If you worry that your child or adolescent struggles with ADHD, contact us at 432-200-9052 or use our online form to book an ADHD evaluation today.